Aulani = Paradise Trip Report


#1

Sorry for the late trip report but since getting back on Wednesday things have just been completely crazy. We just needed a weekend to get things back into order!

However, here we go.

Aulani, Ko Olina Oahu, HI

When: 5/14/12 - 5/22/12

Who: Myself and DW (ToriaDavis)

Day 1

We started our trip off with an early morning 2am red eye flight from Las Vegas. We flew Hawaiian Airlines and the plane was very nice and some what comfortable. After take-off we attempted to get some sleep and some is all we got since we were very excited to get to Hawaii. We landed around 5am in the morning (Hawaiian time) we gathered our things and waited for the rental car shuttle. We got our rental car and headed to get some breakfast.

We immediately headed for Waikiki Beach in Honolulu looking for Mac24/7, a restaurant we had seen on Man v. Food. We thought it would be perfect since it’s open 24 hrs 7 days a week-hence it’s name :laugh:. We used our Garmin app on our phones and made it fairly easily to the hotel it sits within.

When it came to ordering the waiter had recommended that I DO NOT get the MACDADDY pancakes I was SO interested in. He explained that they are very big and even Adam Richman could not finish them, we’re talking 4 lbs of food :eek:, so he recommended a smaller meal with eggs and sausage. I did make sure they were the Elvis pancakes with peanut butter, chocolate and bacon. My DW was not as hungry and just got a big cinnamon bun. The pancakes were incredible and fluffy.

I completely recommend this place for a good filling breakfast and great customer service!

When we were done we decided to walk the couple blocks down to the beach and got some pictures in. We were interested in surfing on Waikiki too so we also found out some prices for lessons. We were super excited to get to see Aulani however, so back in the car we got and plugged our DVC resort into the GPS.

The drive from Waikiki Beach was about 35min or so, and a couple miles out on the freeway you can begin to see the towers. EXCITING!! The little community of Ko Olina is wonderful, it is quite and not a lot of craziness and really nicely maintained.

Finally we drive up to the valet area to check in. Awaiting us was the bellmen, and the quickly grabbed our luggage and pointed us in the direction of another man named RJ.

RJ offered us some tropical infused water greeted us by name and began to walk us to the Waikolohe Valley or the beautiful overview of the resort grounds and ocean. To our surprise he all ready had our room keys and our welcome packet without us ever introducing ourselves to him. One thing Aulani is NOT lacking is customer service.

He began to give us a little tour of the lobby area and the overlook of Waikolohe valley. He then told us that our room was ready if we wanted to look at it and make sure that it was the room view that we wanted. We headed up and quickly found that we did not like the view-it was facing the neighboring hotel and it’s ocean view. We just felt we would like to look over such a great looking resort with it’s own ocean view.

He quickly called down to the front desk and got us set up with another room, but it would not be ready until later. The funny thing was as soon as we got into that room to check it out the bellmen was bringing up our luggage, but we had to tell him to store them since we would be getting another room. When we got back down to the lobby RJ explained to us that there is a lounge downstairs with lockers and showers to use until the room was ready. We headed out to change into swim suits, and headed towards the beach.

On our way we stopped at the outside bar area to get some cocktails, and then we before getting to the beach we found some comfy chairs to just sit and lookout at the lagoon. We got our pictures in and head over to the towel tent. Now in Aulani you have to go to a tent in the middle to show your room key and get a wrist band to get towels and go in the pool areas. Wrist bands and towels in hand we headed down to the beach for a little while. The water was a little cold but felt so nice to just get in the water. After about and hour we decided to just check everything out, so we wandered around checking the valley area, the workout room, and all the eating areas.

By this time we were getting hungry but quickly found out that all the eating areas were very expensive, so I got on my iphone and found a little place not too far away. We changed back and head out for food. About 4 miles out in the neighboring town on Kapolei we went a little place called Zippy’s, it is pretty much Hawaiian’s version of Denny’s. It was good comfort food and it filled out stomachs. On our way there we found a Target and decided to get some supplies i.e. bottled water, breakfast stuff, and light snacks. As we were checking out we got our text that the room was ready so we head back to the hotel.

When we got there we checked with the front desk on our room and they gave us room keys and up to the room we went. The room was fantastic and the view was even better. Wonderful view of the Waikolohe valley and of course the ocean. We began to get unpacked and settled in since at this point we were getting tired from the time change and lack of sleep on that airplane. We checked out the gift shop and found that they have a mug system here as well so we got 2 and filled them up. At $18.99 each we found them to be a bargain as they had 4 stations around the property and included Kona coffee, hot & iced tea, soft drinks, water and hot cocoa. We relaxed for a little bit longer and realized that it was about dinner time but we didn’t want anything too big. We headed back out towards the target and found a Panda Express and just got some food to fill our stomachs.

After eating we went back to Aulani and decided one last thing we must do before the day is over is check out the infinity hot tub. My DW has been dying to see this and get in it for months so of course we had to try it ASAP. So we changed, got some towels and off to the hot tub we went. Now before this trip I bought an underwater video camera so I felt it was a good time to try it out. The water was nice and warm and it had 2 levels to it! AWESOME! We took some pictures and played with the video and we were getting so relaxed we felt that it was time to go to bed since we were heading to Waikiki Beach early in the morning for some surfing lessons. We also didn’t want to drown our first night in paradise by falling asleep in it from sheer exhaustion:laugh::laugh::laugh:


Untitled by CDavis9088, on Flickr

Untitled by CDavis9088, on Flickr

Untitled by CDavis9088, on Flickr

Untitled by CDavis9088, on Flickr

Untitled by CDavis9088, on Flickr


#2

Awesome tr. Thanks for doing it!


#3

here are a few more pics


Untitled by CDavis9088, on Flickr

TOSH0006 (2) by CDavis9088, on Flickr

Untitled by CDavis9088, on Flickr

Untitled by CDavis9088, on Flickr

Untitled by CDavis9088, on Flickr


#4

Now because i just got a new Mac and still learning how to use it I will try to post more then 1 a day. Or there will be at least 1 everyday for the next 8 days


#5

Loving every word!!! Sounds like a great start to your trip! What type of underwater video camera did you get? I just ordered one today. I think it’s called the Kodak Play Sport…hope it takes pictures like yours if that’s what you used for picture #4!

It’s nice that you had a full day on your arrival day!


#6

Yeah!! I am so excited for your TR! So glad you had a great time :0)


#7

A Goofy Family - It is a Toshiba Camileo BW10. You can find it on amazon for around 60 to 70 dollars. I personally am not a fan of Kodak products for I have found them to break too much in the past. This little camera though has paid for itself with all the great footage I have gotten especially if you go snorkling in hanauma bay.


#8

Shucks, maybe I’ll order that too! I have an Olympus underwater camera that I like alot, but thought it’d be nice to add another. My kids are taking friends with them, so maybe another camera would be good too…or I can return/stop the Kodak order. Did you buy an extra battery or does it have a good life? We do plan to snorkel at Hanauma Bay…along with any other good spots we find. So, it looks like I’m going to the amazon site now. :slight_smile: Are all of the pictures above taken with it?


#9

This camera does not take batteries but charges from a computer usb port. Also the one that you pointed out was the only one of these with the underwater camera. In the next couple of days I have some great underwater pics to post up of Sharks.


#10

Can’t wait to see/read more! (camera has been ordered)


#11

Oh, wow! I can’t wait for more!!!


#12

Can’t wait for more!


#13

Yay! I am so excited for this TR!


#14

Tuesday Day 2

Just a starting note: WE ARE PLANNERS! So let me assure you we had a FULL itinerary of things we wanted to do and see, it being both our first times ever in Hawaii. We did leave ourselves a fairly open schedule though to move things to different times/days to ensure it was as restful a trip as possible.

On this day we woke up nicely rested and excited to head down to Waikiki for some surfing lessons. Our surfing school associate had recommended the earlier the better for lessons-to ensure the least crowds while learning. We didn’t really want to bring hotel towels and forgot out home beach towels so we headed to the ABC Store to pick up our first souvenier this trip: TOWELS:laugh::laugh:. We loved that store, they had a huge variety of things at very good prices and they’re on every corner it seemed.

We left reasonably early around 7:30 am to get down to that beach before it got over crowded, and remember Aulani is at least 30 mins from Waikiki Beach. On our way out we soon found out that the traffic on Oahu is horrendous. It turned a 35-40 min drive into at least around an hour. So make sure you account for this if you have things scheduled at certain times or are trying to get someplace right at open. The traffic report on the news is super helpful as always too. Anyways, we get to the beach and get setup for our lessons. We had a 3 person group so it made it easier to learn I think. Our instructor was cool and we did about 10 mins of lessons on shore before heading out.

Once we were out there the instructor would push us into the wave so we could work on just standing up. Well for the both of us getting up wasn’t the problem it was staying up that was hard but after about 3 or 4 waves we got the hang of it and really started to enjoy it. After about an hour the lesson was over and we headed back. Now our lesson deal was 1 hour with the instructor and 1 hour board rental. When we got back my DW found that she had some painful rashes from getting on the board and paddling. If you plan on surfing a rash guard is strongly recommended. I decided to go back out for a little while and she stayed on the beach. Now at this point the beach was getting crowded and so was the water but I went out and tried anyway. I found it was a lot harder to paddle into your own wave when your arms are already very tired from earlier. I was out for about 30 min before heading back in and decided I was done. We rinsed off and headed back to Aulani.

We were also rushing a little cause we did have lunch reservations at AMA AMA. When we got back lunch was soon so we called down and pushed back our lunch about 30mins or so that way we could get cleaned up and everything. Once we were ready we headed down for lunch. AMA AMA was very nice and it was an open air dinning area overlooking the lagoon. The food was terrific but still not completely sure about the prices completely since they still seemed a little high. But our stomachs were full so it was time to get back in the car to see more of this island.

We decided to first head to the Dole Plantation. The drive was not as long at it took to Waikiki Beach or at least it did not seem that long:laugh:. Once there my DW found a lady selling some flower lei’s and fresh fruit outside so we got her another and in tradition I put it on her with a kiss :wub:. We headed into the gift shop with has everything pineapple. DW found a stand that had leather bracelets and on them they personalize your hawaiian name onto them. We ended up getting a bunch to send back to her family. While those were getting made I had to get a dole whip pineapple ice cream cone and it was might tasty. After all the bracelets were done we headed out to check out the big pineapple maze. There are a couple entrances and a couple exits and we completed one but cheated on the second cause it was getting very hot in that maze. Lastly, we did some shopping in the gift shop and even got our dogs some pineapple/coconut dog treats :biggrin::biggrin:. They were close to closing by this point so we decided to keep heading north to see what we could find.

On our discovery north we found lots of pineapple fields, coffee fields, and beautiful views. We even pulled over on the side of the road a couple times to take pictures. Still not sure what is ahead of us we come across the the historic quaint town of Haleiwa better known as the North Shore area. It’s a wonderful little surf town filled with surf shops, famous shrimp trucks, and shave ice shops. We found the ocean and found a beach and got out to take some pictures since the sun was getting close to the ocean. Now we couldn’t just drive past the famous Masumoto shave ice shop without stopping to get one or two:laugh:. There was a line out the door to get one but it was completely worth it. It was the fluffiest ice ever and on mine I added condensed milk and it made it so creamy:heart:. If anyone goes to the north shore this place is a must no matter how long the line is. trust me it goes pretty quick.

We get back in the car after finishing our shave ice and continue exploring areas. We did not find much but we did come across what looked to be like a palm tree farm so we stopped to take some pictures. By this point the sun was just about down so we headed back to Aulani. On our way back again we found some terrific sights that we just had to pull over and take some pictures.

When we made it back it was dinner time so before getting back to the room we stopped off across the street at the little Hawaiian BBQ place which was very good. This was my second time trying Moco Loco but I was quickly getting addicted to it. It is super filling too. We got our meals to go and headed back to our room with food at hand and stopped off at the resort’s store to fill up our mugs with drinks. We decided what better place to eat our dinner then on our balcony. We ate our food with a little light still left and it was wonderful.

Lastly, for the night we again decide that the hot tub was calling our names so we got changed, got some towels, and got in that nice warm water. In the garden area they were playing Monsters Inc. on a big screen which I though was really cool, especially since we didn’t have to leave the hot tubs lower level to catch a glimpse of it. When we were done we headed back up to jump into bed so we could get up early to head out to a hike.


TOSH0003 (2) by CDavis9088, on Flickr

Untitled by CDavis9088, on Flickr

Untitled by CDavis9088, on Flickr

Untitled by CDavis9088, on Flickr

Untitled by CDavis9088, on Flickr

Untitled by CDavis9088, on Flickr

Untitled by CDavis9088, on Flickr

Untitled by CDavis9088, on Flickr

Untitled by CDavis9088, on Flickr

Untitled by CDavis9088, on Flickr

Untitled by CDavis9088, on Flickr

Untitled by CDavis9088, on Flickr

Untitled by CDavis9088, on Flickr


#15

I am SO lovin’ this trip report. Great detail and pictures! Definitely going to use this as a guide!! We won’t be there as long as y’all were though. We had our group planning meeting tonight and we locked in a few reservations (we’re big planners too,I’ve been reading and researching for 2 years!!) and so excited to go! Can’t wait to read your next installment!


#16

Great pictures:happy:. Looking forward to more.


#17

We are planners too but remember to keep things loose. Don’t put all plans in stone and most of all remember to relax it is paradise. Lastly, make time for just pool/beach days at Aulani it is worth it.


#18

Also, if you can. Go see the volcano, especially if it is visible. Highly recommend it. I have been there when you could see nothing too. Not as exciting, but still interesting.


#19

Oahu does not have any active volcano’s that is on the big island I believe


#20

I love your report, especially the pictures. Someday…